Life is the time to serve the Lord

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General information

This is an hymn by Isaac Watts, Hymn 88 of Book 1, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, entitled Life the day of grace and hope, based on Ecclesiastes 9:4-6,10.

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Text and translations

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Life is the time to serve the Lord,
The time to ensure the great reward;
And while the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return.

Life is the hour that God has given
To 'scape from hell and fly to heaven;
The day of grace, and mortals may
Secure the blessings of the day.

The living know that they must die,
But all the dead forgotten lie;
Their memory and their sense is gone,
Alike unknowing and unknown.

Their hatred and their love is lost,
Their envy buried in the dust;
They have no share in all that's done
Beneath the circuit of the sun.

Then what my thoughts design to do,
My hands, with all your might pursue;
Since no device nor work is found,
Nor faith, nor hope, beneath the ground.

There are no acts of pardon passed
In the cold grave, to which we haste;
But darkness, death, and long despair,
Reign in eternal silence there.

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